What’s your motivation to finish college? For many, it’s always our family. For Jonell Calisin, it’s also his family and the picture of their run-down shanty.
In a Facebook post that has gone viral, Jonell recalled his long journey of finishing college. He is set to graduate with an architecture degree from the Bulacan State University after more than 8 and a half years of studying.
Born to an impoverished life, Jonell had to take up odd jobs while studying in college. In 2010, he worked as a gasoline boy but got laid off after 2 years. With no income, he was forced to stop his studies. But determined to finish his education, Jonell continued to look for jobs in order to save.
He worked as a merchandiser and a factory worker. When he was finally able to go back to college, he failed several subjects. So many challenges almost made him give up but he pulled himself together and recalled his dreams in life.
Sharing photos of their family house, Jonell said he always dreamed of building a better house and owning a lot for his family.
He wrote, “Lagi ko lang tinitignan yung bahay namin pag gusto ko nang sumuko. Lagi kong iniisip na gusto kong makaranas ng may maayos na bahay. Yung hindi kayo nababasa pag umuulan, hindi sobrang init pag tag araw, yung sarili niyo na yung lupa.”
Jonell’s journey was far from easy. He admitted that he isn’t smart or rich. His parents would borrow money when he didn’t have enough for school. And there were many times he doubted his goal.
He added, “Hindi kami mayaman. Hindi ako matalino. Hindi ako proud na umabot ako ng 8 and half year sa college. Pero ang tanging maipagmamalaki ko lang ay yung hindi ako sumuko sa hamon ng buhay. Naalala ko pa nOon na lagi kong tinatanung ang sarili ko kapag nahihirapan na ko, ‘tama pa ba o tama na?'”
His answer would always be a resounding yes and that his dreams are possible. It’s difficult but it’ll soon be worth it.
Jonell said, “Trust the process. Minsan kailangan mo talagang pagdaanan lahat ng hirap at pasakit para patatagin ka ng buhay. Hindi madali pero hindi imposible kapit ka lang para sa pangarap mo lagi mo lang iisipin kung bakit mo ginagawa lahat ng yan kapag napanghihinaan ka na.”
May Jonell’s inspiring story motivate more students to work hard and be determined to achieve their dreams, no matter how long it may take. Congrats, Jonell!
His inspiring story made it to a Kapuso feature!